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An Essay on Fiscal Federalism

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  • Wallace E. Oates

Abstract

This paper is a selective survey of fiscal federalism. It begins with a brief review and some reflections on the traditional theory of fiscal federalism: the assignment of functions to levels of government, the welfare gains from fiscal decentralization, and the use of fiscal instruments. It then explores a series of important topics that are the subject of current research: laboratory federalism, interjurisdictional competition and environmental federalism, the political economy of fiscal federalism, market-preserving federalism, and fiscal decentralization in the developing and transitional economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Wallace E. Oates, 1999. "An Essay on Fiscal Federalism," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(3), pages 1120-1149, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:37:y:1999:i:3:p:1120-1149
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.37.3.1120
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

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